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Is the ‘Pothole killer’ the secret weapon in fighting damaged roads?

Pothole Killer vehicle said to be cheaper and more effective than a four man worker team.

If you have a ghost problem, you should call the Ghostbusters. If you have a pothole problem, you could badger your local council with photo evidence but your time would be better spent calling the ‘Pothole Killer’, a lean, mean, pothole-repairing machine.

The Pothole Killers are based in the US. Their PK2000 Spray Injection System vehicle has a long chute on a hydraulic boon that first blows away any debris, then applies a layer of liquid asphalt to seal the edges of the pothole and create an adhesive layer. The sticky layer is used to hold the following layer of liquid asphalt and aggregate before a final layer of dry aggregate completes the work.

The whole process is done by a remote control within the vehicle that looks a bit like the controls for a flight simulator. Up, down, left and right moves are possible, making it easy to fill up just about any pothole – even if it looks more like a crater.

It looks like a messy process but it can have a pothole fixed and ready to drive over in two minutes, which is both cost-effective as it requires only one operator and far quicker than the manual alternative. There’s also the added bonus of keeping the operator safe in the vehicle, not on a road where he could be run over.

Tech website Gizmodo said the vehicle costs US$335,800 (£200,000) to buy or US$130,000 (£77,200) to rent for three months, which seems like a lot of dough. It is, however, supposedly much cheaper than running a four-man crew, including labour costs, truck fuel and the asphalt itself.

We’re guessing the Pothole Killer would be frowned upon in the UK as it could put workers out of the job. We would, however, suggest the Highways Agency should accept a bit of help. Based on the current workforce and the extent of damage on UK roads, local authorities estimate it would take more than 20 years and more than £12.93 billion to fix all damage. Enough work to go around, then.

A perfect solution would be laying down roads that are less susceptible to damage, seeing as roads quickly fall back into disarray, but as a stop-gap the Pothole Killer might just be what the doctor ordered.

Pothole Killer video


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